Manometry is an evaluation of the pressure within specific areas of the gastrointestinal tract. It’s used to help diagnose and manage treatment of an array of disorders. There are two main types of manometry:
Esophageal manometry is performed in the office as an outpatient procedure that takes about 30 minutes. During the evaluation, the throat and nasal passageways will be numbed with a special spray, then a tiny catheter will be passed through the nose and into the stomach. The catheter is very thin and does not interfere with breathing or talking. Once the catheter is in place, the patient will be asked to swallow or take deep breaths while tiny sensors on the catheter measure pressure inside the esophagus. Pressure data will be sent to a computer so it can be analyzed. No sedation is required, and patients can resume their normal routines immediately afterward. Sometimes, the catheter may cause minor and temporary throat irritation, which can be soothed with lozenges or a mild saltwater gargle.
Anorectal manometry is performed in the office in about a half hour. About two hours before the exam, the patient will need to use an enema to clear the lower bowel. During the evaluation, the patient will lie on his or her side on the exam table and a flexible tube or catheter will be inserted through the anus into the rectum. Small sensors along the catheter will measure pressure inside the anus and rectum as the patient relaxes, contracts and squeezes. The sensors send data to a computer that analyzes the data and provides information about the function of the anus and rectum. No sedation is required, and patients can resume their regular activities immediately afterward.
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